After just recently announcing our expansion to the Twin Cities, we’re thrilled to share more exciting news with you: Better Place Forests is expanding to the Northeast and opening our fifth and newest forest, Better Place Forests Litchfield Hills –– a hidden gem in the hills of Northwestern Connecticut. Our 130-acre forestland in Falls Village is located in a peaceful and stunning region that exudes quintessential New England charm. The region is known for its lush greenland, outdoor recreation, and environmental treasures including the Housatonic River, Bear Mountain, and the southernmost portion of the Berkshires. We’re honored to offer a natural and sustainable way to commemorate one’s legacy to communities in this region.
Located just an hour’s drive from downtown Hartford and 2 hours from New York City, Better Place Forests Litchfield Hills is also an easy day trip from the larger Boston and Providence metropolitan areas.
Photo: Sweeping views of surrounding hillsides that capture Fall’s unforgettable colors
We’ve chosen this specific location for our fifth memorial forest not only for its accessibility, but also for its unique biodiversity and awe-inspiring natural beauty (especially its unforgettable Fall views!) –– all of which we’re working to protect, maintain and conserve for generations to come. A private, peaceful haven, our bucolic forestland features expansive views more than 30 miles to the south and views to the northwest as far as the Catskills in New York. When you step into the woods, you’ll see a 1-acre pond alongside a small stream that is a tributary to the beloved Housatonic River.
We've also very much so enjoyed getting to know Susan Kelsey, the former property owner and quite possibly one of the most well-loved people in town. Susan is a purpose-driven forester and environmentalist and the forest’s beauty is a reflection of her dedicated stewardship of this slice of New England. We’re honored to share her vision to protect and conserve this forestland.
She comments: “I love the idea that Better Place Forests will help protect this property and its natural beauty for generations to come. Falls Village is known for its lush greenery and iconic, open spaces, and I’m inspired knowing that this forest will continue to be conserved while offering such a peaceful way for the families and friends of our community to memorialize one’s life.”
“For nearly forty years I have served on our Town’s Inland Wetlands/Conservation Commission, being committed to ensuring wise use of our Town’s lands. The mission of Better Place Forests to create a conservation memorial forest in Falls Village comes with a myriad of ecological benefits – benefits that I have been an advocate of for much of my life. Already I have been out scouting the forest for my ideal tree; a tree where some day my ashes will be spread and of which I will eventually become a part [of]. A place where once again I can call ‘home’.”
Photo: Better Place Forests Litchfield Hills features gentle rolling hills and a variety of tree species including the northern red oak, chestnut oak, red maple, sugar maple and black cherry trees.
Sandy Gibson, CEO and Co-founder of Better Place Forests, was inspired by the property’s natural beauty: “Our mission is to inspire everyone to leave a meaningful legacy for the planet and the people they love. We want to give families and their loved ones the gift of protecting iconic outdoor spaces as part of their lasting legacy. Northwest Connecticut is one of the most beautiful places in the country, and we’re honored to help protect the woods and forestland that this region is well-known for.”
We are thankful that Better Place Forests Litchfield Hills has received widespread community support already.
David Barger, who has served on the Board of Selectmen for three years, comments: "When I look at new and innovative projects, I aim to see them through the lens of what's best for Falls Village: what will benefit the town, give back to the community, and continue to protect its natural beauty? Better Place Forests fits the bill. Not only will they help conserve our forestland, they are seeking to hire locally and have already begun building positive relationships here. Their memorial forest will be a welcome addition to what Falls Village has to offer."
Says local community member Elizabeth Scranton Rhoades: “For those of us who have reached the age where thoughts about our final resting place have assumed some level of importance in our minds, this provides a wonderful alternative to a traditional burial. We had already planned to have our ashes scattered, and we’d love to have them in a place where our family can visit and know that we really are a part of the cycle of life.”
Better Place Forests Litchfield Hills is planning to open for online and in-person forest tours in 2021. In the meantime, we’re welcoming people to join the Founders Circle with a fully-refundable $95 deposit. As a member of the Founders Circle, you are recognized for being one of the first to be part of the Better Place Forests Litchfield Hills community. We are always deeply appreciative of our Founders – and plan to commemorate them by inscribing their names in the forest. Founding members will save over $1,000 on our most popular trees, have their first pick of trees, and also get invitations to exclusive events.
Sign up here to learn more about how to join our Founder’s Circle, get exclusive updates and be the first to know when our Litchfield Hills forest is open for tours.